The leaders of France, Germany, Ukraine and Russian Federation met in Paris for five and a half hours of talks on Monday, producing at the day's end a joint communique that said all parties would "commit to a full and comprehensive implementation" of a ceasefire in Ukraine by the end of the year.
The leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France are holding a series of meetings at the Elysee Palace to try to revive a 2015 peace deal that's gone largely ignored, as Ukrainian soldiers and Russia-backed separatists continue to exchange fire across World War I-style trenches along the front line slicing through eastern Ukraine.
The conflict in eastern Ukraine that broke out in 2014 has killed more than 13,000 people and aggravated the deepest east-west rift since the Cold War. "I'm saying the issue of border transfer should take place before the local elections".
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy held their first face-to-face meeting Monday at a four-way summit in Paris with the French and German leaders as mediators.
"We really spent a great deal of time during our one-on-one meeting on this [gas] issue. there's no agreement yet, but I'm sure that we have more chances to sign it under better conditions than before", Zelenskyy told reporters in Paris, adding that "already no one is talking about a contract for one year, it was removed from the discussion".More news: Elon Musk took Tesla's Cybertruck for a weekend drive around LA
Monday's summit mostly reinforced the 2015 Minsk peace deal, but there are still political problems to solve. Zelenskiy wants elections to be held only after Ukraine has regained control of its territory.
The pro-Western opposition in Ukraine interprets the Steinmeier formula as capitulation and state treason.
Wrapping his arm around him, Macron extended the generous and tactile welcome at the Elysee Palace ahead of talks with Putin and the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Angela Merkel.
Russia-Ukraine long-term gas transit contract which supplies with gas many countries of the European Union ends on 31 December, while Russia is stepping up two big pipeline projects circumventing Ukraine: Nord Stream 2, bringing gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea, and Turkish Stream, which will ship under the Black Sea.
Some Ukrainians fear Zelenskiy will be out-maneuvered by Putin in Monday's meeting.More news: World Anti-Doping Agency imposes 4-year ban on Russia
Yelchenko said the main goal of the resolution is to urge the withdrawal of Russian forces from Crimea and ensure that Russia halts "harassment of commercial vessels and restrictions to worldwide shipping in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov".
Protesters who have warned Zelenskiy about making concessions to Putin in Paris were camped outside the presidential administration in Kyiv, watching the summit news conference on a big screen. The Kremlin wants to maintain as much influence over Kyiv as it can, using the land held by the separatists it supports in the Donbas as a lever.
"I say very openly, we have a lot of work to do but my feeling from this meeting here today is that there is goodwill to resolve hard questions", Merkel told a joint news conference with the leaders of France, Ukraine and Russian Federation.
"Yes, we can speak of relations warming", Putin said at a news conference after the talks. "Let's say for now it's a draw".More news: Davis joins James and Bryant as 50-point Lakers